How many times you went to bed and stayed awake for hours, sleepless and angry on the whole world around you? How many times you could not sleep properly because of thinking about problems at work or worrying about tomorrow’s exam? How many times you were going to sleep on a full stomach and could not fall asleep because of heaviness in your body?
Forget about sleepless hours in your bed and discomfort when trying to fall asleep! All you need is to improve some of your current sleep habits, create a more comfortable sleep environment and become sleep fit. Now, there are some very easy rules you must always remember if you want to become a good sleeper:
• Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even in the weekends and on the days off work. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle can help you to avoid “Monday morning blues”, as well as make you feel fit and be always in a good shape.
• Do not go to bed unless you feel sleepy. It increases your chances to fall asleep fast and helps to create a strong association in your mind between your bed and sleeping.
• If you can not fall asleep in your bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and try to get busy with something calm in some other room (watch TV, read a book, listen to some calm music, etc.).
• Use your bedroom only for sleeping. Try to avoid watching TV, eating, surfing the net or playing video-games in your bedroom. This way your mind will associate the environment of your bedroom with sleeping and it will definitely help you to improve the quality of your sleep
• Make your bed comfortable. Choose not too soft but not too hard bed and a comfortable pillow, not too large. Adjust your blanket according to the temperature in your bedroom: you must not wake up in the morning feeling hot or cold.
• Try to make the environment in your bedroom close to total darkness and silence. Turn off all electric devices and appliances in your bedroom.
• Ventilate your bedroom properly. Before going to bed, open the windows in your bedroom for some time, if the weather outside allows you to do so.
• Avoid daytime napping. If you can not do without daytime naps, have a nap at the same time (around 3 p.m.). Your daytime nap must not be longer than 1 – 1.5 hours.
• Set up a sort of relaxing ritual before going to sleep (like reading a book for 15 minutes, taking a warm shower, doing some yoga or relaxation exercise, etc.) and try to practice it every time before going to bed.
• Never avoid strenuous physical exercise during the day. However, try to reduce your physical activities 6-4 hours before bedtime.
• Try to leave all your problems, stresses, questions, worries and negative thoughts behind the door of your bedroom. If you need to think over something, do it before going to bed in some other place.
• Avoid having any sort of food 3-4 hours before you go to sleep. Eating right before your bedtime affects your sleep and usually makes you gain weight.
• Avoid having caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other stimulants 6-4 hours before your bedtime.
• Do not abuse sleeping pills. Follow the recommendations of your doctor and remember that it is better not to use sleeping pills longer than two or three weeks.